Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Why Not Pass a Law Banning Customers

Last week, the town of Riverside, NJ rescinded an ordinance that penalized anyone who employed or rented to an illegal immigrant.

And surprise! It was because businesses suffered after the ordinance was passed.
Within months, hundreds, if not thousands, of recent immigrants from Brazil and other Latin American countries had fled. The noise, crowding and traffic that had accompanied their arrival over the past decade abated.

The law had worked. Perhaps, some said, too well.

With the departure of so many people, the local economy suffered. Hair salons, restaurants and corner shops that catered to the immigrants saw business plummet; several closed. Once-boarded-up storefronts downtown were boarded up again.


“I don’t think people knew there would be such an economic burden,” said Mayor George Conard, who voted for the original ordinance. “A lot of people did not look three years out.”

I think if you can't look 3 years out as well as expecting the obvious outcome from passing an ordinance such as this, perhaps you don't deserve to be mayor.

No comments: